Independence Day – A Great Beginning, by the Grace of God by Deacon Marty McIndoe

20150201_145250The cross marks the spot where the first mass was celebrated in what would become The United States of America (St. Augustine, Florida).  This happened 211 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1565).

            The final stanza of our National Anthem, “The Star-spangled Banner”, has the phrase, “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.”  In 1864 the phrase, IN GOD WE TRUST, began appearing on our currency.  In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Congress made the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST our National motto.  When you read any of our original documents, from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution to the Bill of Rights you can see that the “fathers” of our country saw the need for God in the everyday workings of the people and the government.  Unfortunately today people and the government are turning further and further away from the recognition of God’s work within our country and within our personal lives.  This troubles me greatly.  I thought that for this Independence Day we could look at some quotes from our founding fathers.  After the quotes are listed, I have a link to a post written by my friend, Rich Lamm entitled, 7 Awesome Fact About Charles Carroll, A True American Catholic and Patriot.  This is found on the Epic Pew website, one that I really enjoy.  Make sure that you follow the link at the end of the article to check it out.  It is fascinating.

 

Samuel Adam

As the Declaration of Independence was being signed, 1776, Samuel Adams declared:

“We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”

~ Samuel Adams (1722 – 1803) is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

 

George Washington

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

~ George Washington (1789 – 1797), first President of the United States

 

Thomas Jefferson
3rd U.S. President, Drafter and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event.”
Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237.

“I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”

The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, p. 385.

 

John Hancock
1st Signer of the Declaration of Independence

“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”
History of the United States of America, Vol. II, p. 229.

 

James Monroe
5th U.S. President

“When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow.  Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good.”
–Monroe made this statement in his 2nd Annual Message to Congress, November 16, 1818.

 

John Quincy Adams
6th U.S. President

“The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth.

Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made ‘bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God’ (Isaiah 52:10).”
Life of John Quincy Adams, p. 248.

William Penn
Founder of Pennsylvania

“I do declare to the whole world that we believe the Scriptures to contain a declaration of the mind and will of God in and to those ages in which they were written; being given forth by the Holy Ghost moving in the hearts of holy men of God; that they ought also to be read, believed, and fulfilled in our day; being used for reproof and instruction, that the man of God may be perfect. They are a declaration and testimony of heavenly things themselves, and, as such, we carry a high respect for them. We accept them as the words of God Himself.”
Treatise of the Religion of the Quakers, p. 355.

 

Benjamin Rush
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution

“The gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations!”
The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, pp. 165-166.

“Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopts its principles and obeys its precepts, they will be wise and happy.”
Essays, Literary, Moral, and Philosophical, published in 1798.

I know there is an objection among many people to teaching children doctrines of any kind, because they are liable to be controverted. But let us not be wiser than our Maker.

“If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into all the world would have been unnecessary.

The perfect morality of the gospel rests upon the doctrine which, though often controverted has never been refuted: I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God.”
Essays, Literary, Moral, and Philosophical, published in 1798.

 

John Witherspoon
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Clergyman and President of Princeton University

“While we give praise to God, the Supreme Disposer of all events, for His interposition on our behalf, let us guard against the dangerous error of trusting in, or boasting of, an arm of flesh … If your cause is just, if your principles are pure, and if your conduct is prudent, you need not fear the multitude of opposing hosts.

“What follows from this? That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind.

“Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy of his country.”
–Sermon at Princeton University, “The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men,” May 17, 1776.

 

Alexander Hamilton
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution

“I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor.

I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”
Famous American Statesmen, p. 126.

 

Patrick Henry
Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
The Trumpet Voice of Freedom: Patrick Henry of Virginia, p. iii.

“The Bible … is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”
Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, p. 402.

Certainly the majority of the founding fathers were Episcopal or Protestant.  However, many Catholics also added to the building of our country.  As a matter of fact, two hundred and eleven (211) years BEFORE the Declaration of Independence was signed, Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales celebrated the first Catholic mass on what was to become American soil.  He did this in St. Augustine, Florida (see picture).  One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was Charles Carroll, Catholic and Patriot.  Check out his story at the Epic Pew site by clicking here:  http://epicpew.com/7-fact-charles-carroll-true-american-catholic-patriot/

God bless you and God bless America!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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